Photography 03

Tor Jon Olson

February 29, 1960 ~ May 16, 2021 (age 61)


Tor Jon Olson, age 61, of McCook, NE passed away with family by his side at his home on May 16, 2021. Tor was diagnosed with brain cancer in September of 2020. He was courageous, hopeful, and so graceful throughout his battle.

Tor was born February 29, 1960 in San Rafael, CA to parents Richard H. and Rosanne O. (Schneider) Olson.  He was one of two brothers (Erik).  Tor attended school in multiple communities in California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Bismarck, ND with the Class of 1978. He then went on to further his education at Bismarck Junior College in North Dakota.

On July 24, 1981, Tor married his soulmate Holly K. (Jacober) Olson in Mandan, ND.  The couple was blessed with their first daughter Chantel. The family later relocated to Imperial, NE. There, Tor and Holly started their own business, Olson’s Photography, in 1986.  While in Imperial, they welcomed their second daughter Cassie. Soon after, the family relocated to McCook, NE in 1991. 

Tor and Holly owned and operated Olson’s Photography for thirty-five years. They enjoyed serving the community through their portraiture work, capturing family memories in all seasons of life. At the start of their photography career, Tor and Holly joined the Professional Photographers of Nebraska. He served as President of the organization and was honored with the Professional Photographers of America, Inc. National Award in 2012 for outstanding service to professional photography.

He was a member of the United Memorial Methodist Church and of the McCook Evangelical Free Church. Tor was committed to serving the McCook community and did so in many ways. He volunteered his talents as a photographer, sound technician, landscaper, and leader. He was part of the McCook Rotary Club for over 25 years. He also served on many community boards and committees in McCook and Imperial. He was passionate about getting people connected and helping the community thrive.

He was instrumental in establishing the McCook Community Trail System, Kelley Creek Disc Golf Course, and the Plaza Park Area in downtown McCook. He was also an avid enthusiast of the arts, sharing his gifts with the countless musicians, storytellers, and performers that have visited our community. This was especially prominent in his collaboration with Live at the Bieroc and Buffalo Commons Storytelling and Music Festival. Tor enjoyed mountain biking, camping, hiking, water skiing, gardening, live music, and of course photography and craft beer.

Tor was preceded in death by father Richard Olson and mother-in-law Janice Jacober.

Those left to celebrate his life include his wife, Holly Olson of McCook; daughters, Chantel (Justin) Ele and their children Porter and Piper of Lincoln, NE and Cassie (Julian) Yoder of Littleton, CO; mother, Rosanne Olson of McCook; brother, Erik (Laura) Olson of McCook; and many lifelong friends and family.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Monday, May 24, 2021 at the United Memorial Methodist Church (McCook, NE) with Pastor Jeff Kelley officiating. The service will be live streamed and can be accessed at


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tor Jon Olson, please visit our floral store.


Gallery of Life and Book Signing
May 23, 2021

6:00 PM
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home
305 West C Street
McCook, NE 69001

Celebration of Life
May 24, 2021

2:30 PM
Memorial United Methodist Church
105 East E
McCook, NE 69001


McCook Community Foundation
P.O. Box 525, McCook NE 69001

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